NFL Draft 2023 Primer: 5 Things to Know and Odds for First Pick

CJ Stroud of Ohio St NFL Combine
CJ Stroud of Ohio State participates in a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

The 2023 NFL Draft will begin on Thursday, April 27th at 8:00 PM and will be televised live on ESPN, ABC, NFL Network, and ESPN Deportes. Below we will review five of the basics entering this year’s NFL Draft.

1. Player Odds to be Selected No. 1 Overall

* Odds courtesy of FanDuel

• C.J. Stroud (QB – Ohio State) -220

• Bryce Young (QB – Alabama) +250

• Anthony Richardson (QB – Florida) +350

• Will Levis (QB – Kentucky) +3000

• Jalen Carter (DT – Georgia) +10,000

• Will Anderson (Edge – Alabama) +10,000

We should note that the No.1 pick in the NFL Draft over the last 26 years has been either a quarterback, defensive end, or offensive tackle.

That streak will remain unbroken this year unless defensive tackle Jalen Carter is selected first. However, that is unlikely to happen for several reasons and it will likely come down to quarterbacks C.J. Stroud, Bryce Young, or Anthony Richardson.

2. Round 1 Draft Order

1. Carolina Panthers* (from Chicago)16. Washington Commanders
2. Houston Texans17. Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Arizona Cardinals18. Detroit Lions
4. Indianapolis Colts19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
5. Seattle Seahawks (from Denver)20. Seattle Seahawks
6. Detroit Lions (from L.A. Rams)21. Los Angeles Chargers
7. Las Vegas Raiders22. Baltimore Ravens
8. Atlanta Falcons23. Minnesota Vikings
9. Chicago Bears* (from Carolina)24. Jacksonville Jaguars
10. Philadelphia Eagles (from New Orleans)25. New York Giants
11. Tennessee Titans26. Dallas Cowboys
12. Houston Texans (from Cleveland)27. Buffalo Bills
13. New York Jets28. Cincinnati Bengals
14. New England Patriots29. New Orleans Saints (from San Francisco through Miami and Denver)
15. Green Bay Packers30. Philadelphia Eagles
31. Kansas City Chiefs

3. Who Will Get Picked First?

The Carolina Panthers didn’t give up a small fortune to move up eight spots from No. 9 to No. 1 to pick anything but a quarterback. Therefore, anyone who believes defensive tackle Jalen Carter or edge rusher Will Anderson will hear their names called first hasn’t been paying attention.

The Panthers are in desperate need of a quarterback and signed veteran Andy Dalton to a 2-year, $10 million deal to be a mentor to whomever they draft with the first overall pick in April’s draft.

But now that we’ve determined it will be a quarterback, which one will it be? We can rule out Kentucky’s Will Levis because Carolina could have waited to see where the chips fell on draft day and then made a trade to get in position to pick Levis.

Trading from No. 9 to possibly as high as No. 4 would not have cost them nearly as much capital as it did when dealing their 9th and 61st picks in this year’s draft, their first-round pick in the 2024 NFL draft, their second-round pick in 2025, and wide receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears for the sole purpose of picking first overall.

Thus, we have to believe that Stroud, Young, or Richardson will be the guy, but based on the way Young has started to fall from a prohibitive -200 favorite to where he currently stands over at FanDuel at +250, it seems that the choice is between Stroud and Richardson. I believe the Buckeye Stroud, will be tapped as No. 1 overall.

4. Why Only 31 Picks?

There are 32 teams in the NFL and all are allowed draft picks in all seven rounds. However, on August 2, 2022, the NFL announced that the Miami Dolphins had their first and fourth-round pick rescinded due to violating league policies “pertaining to the integrity of the game.”

An investigation “conclusively established” that Miami had “impermissible communications” with Tom Brady in 2019-20 when he was a member of the New England Patriots and also contacted him in 2021 when he was with the Buccaneers.

The investigation also determined that Miami had “impermissible communications” with Sean Payton’s agent in January of 2022 to become its head coach, but did not seek permission from his current team, the New Orleans Saints.

Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross was fined $1.5 million and barred from any and all league meetings before the league’s 2023 annual meeting. Tom Brady and Sean Payton did not face any disciplinary action.

5. Why Did Chicago Trade the No. 1 Pick?

The Bears are encouraged by the progress of their first-round pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, Justin Fields, chosen 11th overall out of Ohio State. Therefore, because they are quarterback-rich, in their eyes at least, they traded down from No. 1 to No. 9 with the Panthers.

But what a haul they got in return. In addition to draft capital, they also acquired the services of a talented wide receiver in DJ Moore, who will help complement the offense for Justin Fields.

At No. 9, they are likely to pick a top-rated offensive lineman like Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski or Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. to protect Fields.